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Yarn Of The Month (some Great Stories)

26. John Dallas Donnelly Remembrance Day (and other related facts)

Posted by Jeff Quigley - Monday, March 06, 2017

YARN OF THE MONTH #26 ..... (original entry date) 06/03/2017 .

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Get some more beers, or make another
coffee, take your time and have some fun.

Just a quick note here. This is where Quigs selects the best "Your Story" received for the month or a selection of a favorite older yarn - no correspondence will be entered into and the winner gets bugger all.
All yarns are unsubstantiated and are posted in good faith. Its just meant to be a fun thing, share some of our great memories from the Greatest Era of the Greatest Game of All.

#26 - John Dallas Donnelly Remembrance Day (and other related facts)

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Story by

Club supported by author

Year of story

Date of Submission

 

From Joe Camilleri, Sydney, Australia

Western Suburbs Magpies

2017

06/03/2017

 

John Dallas Donnelly Remembrance Day (and other related facts)
Story kindly presented (upon request from Quigs) by Joe Camilleri of the Western Suburbs Magpies Fanatics
1st March 2017
You can visit the Western Suburbs Magpies Fanatics here and perhaps join the group

  - https://www.facebook.com/groups/westernsuburbsmagpiesfanatics/

You can visit the Dallas Donnelly Biff Page here


John “Dallas” Donnelly was a larger than life figure in the world of rugby league with the Western Suburbs Magpies.  

A Gunnedah boy who was down to earth and a bit of a larrikin..

On the field, Donnelly was as tough as they come and in an era where “biffing” became part of the game, and was getting out of hand.

Donnelly and co. called this the softening up period. In 1978 and under coach Roy Masters, the Magpies were Minor Premiers.

When Jim Coman, a former Judge was given the job of cleaning up the game he was put in charge of the review board for the NSWRL judiciary committee. Jim’s main task was to clear up the violence on field and along with Donnelly, Bob Cooper (Wests), Les Boyd (Wests/Manly) and Steve Kneen Cronulla, they felt the brunt of Coman’s Lengthy suspensions.

After Dallas’s time at Wests had come to an end, he went on and played a season in England before returning to Australia and taking up the job to captain coach at Byron Bay on the north coast of NSW.


On the 22nd of February 1986 Dallas whilst enjoying the local surf with some of his new team mates, suffered an epileptic seizure and tragically drowned.

The Rugby league fraternity was in mourning, players, officials, and fans alike.

Back in 2008 with facebook becoming the medium for catching up with long lost friends, creating groups from music to rugby league..Scott Morris started a group for magpie diehards called the Western Suburbs Magpies fanatics. By 2013 the fanatics page had 600 members sharing photos and stories of past moments..

The fanatics started producing their own merchandise and some magpie gear from mugs to stickers.

Now the group has over 3,500 member and have become the heart and soul behind a magpies revival as they help push a return to the NSW Cup 2nd tier..

The fanatics have gained popularity through reports in the local papers and in helping on occasion by raising funds for those in need..

The Fanatics hold an annual Back to Campbelltown Day where past players attend with magpie faithful to tell many varied stories of their time at Wests.

In 2015. The Fanatics next mission was to raise funds for the struggling Gunnedah Bulldogs, the home of John Donnelly. Gunnedah also produced two other great league players in Cronulla’s Ron Turner who became Cronulla’s first Kangaroo and Souths and Manly forward and hardman John “Lurch “O’Neill. Lurch was a 6 times premiership winning front rower.

But none is closer to the heart of the Gunnedah locals than Dallas where the family clan still resides.

Back in 2015 a formal function was held in Gunnedah on the Friday night (5/05/2015) with many a former Wests player in attendance. Jim Leis, Tommy Raudonikis, Peter Young, Bruce “The Sloth “ Gibbs just to name a few. The next day (Saturday) the Gunnedah team had a homegame. The Bulldogs whose usual colours are Red, White and Blue but were permitted to play this home match in the Wests jersey to commemorate John Donnelly.

The CRL were not in favour of the change, eventually agreed to allow this to happen.



John’s Mum Gloria who never ventures out at night, made an effort to attend this special Gunnedah Memorial Match and was presented with a jersey with Donnelly 708 (his First grade number at Wests). Overcome with joy, Gloria accepted the jumper with much emotion. Prior to kickoff for the match, jumper 708 was placed on a sideline chair with the Gunnedah Bulldogs passing on their way onto the paddock replicating the famous 1986 photo of Bruce “Bruiser” Clark striding past Johns Jersey.

The bulldogs lost the match on the night, but it was a night that will never be forgotten by the fanatics and Gunnedah residents. Much needed funds were raised with sales of the memorial jumper selling over 60 units to the magpie faithful with all funds passed onto the Gunnedah Bulldogs.

The Western suburb football club in honour of the fanatics will have their name on the official club sock in 2017..

For the past two years and to keep Dallas memory alive, the Fanatics hold A Dallas Remembrance Day at Dallas’s favourite watering hole, The Railway Hotel in Lidcombe.

Players & fans alike share and remember the great memories of John “Dallas” Donnelly.

From Quigs: "Many thanks go out to Joe Camilleri of the Western Suburbs Magpies Fanatics for taking the time to compile this story for The Biff."

Additional Article in The Northern Daily Leader
Gunnedah's Dallas a legend larger than life
By Geoff Newling - 14 May 2015,
http://www.northerndailyleader.com.au/story/3076998/gunnedahs-dallas-a-legend-larger-than-life/


25. Her Father Hit Big Artie With His Baton

Posted by quigs eraofthebiff - Saturday, May 05, 2012

YARN OF THE MONTH #25 ..... (original entry date) 05/08/2008 .

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Get some more beers, or make another
coffee, take your time and have some fun.

Just a quick note here. This is where Quigs selects the best "Your Story" received for the month or a selection of a favorite older yarn - no correspondence will be entered into and the winner gets bugger all.
All yarns are unsubstantiated and are posted in good faith. Its just meant to be a fun thing, share some of our great memories from the Greatest Era of the Greatest Game of All.

Her Father Hit Big Artie With His Baton

-

Story by

Club supported by author

Year of story

Date of Submission

 

From Loretta Clancy, Emerald, Queensland Australia

North Queensland Cowboys

June 2008

05/08/2008

 



Today was just like any other day in my usually tedious life. As fate would have it I was rostered on by myself, and having just cooked for a bus of 30 people was quite drained and slower than usual locking the restaurant up.

As fate would have it a rather large gentleman without my knowing walked into the premises and with a bellowing HELLO! Is anybody here, I proceeded through the doors back into the restaurant.

Quite taken aback by the man who was before me but also rather elated, after all it’s not everyday in downtown Emerald that a person comes across a legend. One of the greatest legends of the worlds best sports.

That being ‘Rugby League’. A representative of A legend that though excited to see was also somewhat curious to ask a few questions of.

You see my father Brian Clancy was always very quick to tell his clan that when Artie was younger, he and his brothers were relatively mischievous. This one night in particular he no doubtedly must have been up to nonsense because Dad had to apparently hit him with his baton.

My god you say fancy having to hit Artie Beetson the league legend with a baton, and being the person that my father is and never knowing what white lies come out of his mouth we too thought oh yeh! here we go again.

So after introducing myself and shaking his hand I took his breakfast order of; four fried eggs, wholemeal toast (cold), four slices of cold tomato, orange juice and a pot of tea.

I gathered up enough courage to be so bold as to ask him for his autograph which he obliged without hesitation, and then I said to him; ‘I don’t know if it’s true or not but my father reckons he hit you over the head with his baton when you were younger’.

Now very curiously he turned to me and asked who my father was, to which I replied sheepishly, Brian Clancy.

Well he said your father was telling you the truth, he remembered distinctly the time this happened. Artie was only fourteen and a half, doing something he shouldn’t have been doing on the streets of Roma. He remembers so well that he even recalls the other two policemen who were with my father at the time; Wally Payne and a Keith Anderson.

He said to tell my father that he done him a real favour, and that it was a real wake up call for him the best thing that happened to him.

He also said to tell my father that Arties brothers didn’t turn out too bad either both becoming engineers on the oil rigs, although Pedro has retired now because of two heart bypasses.

And so it was that fateful day, a beautiful day on the 7/6/08 that I can honestly say was one of the best days in my life for the fact that now I know that my father was telling the truth “this time”!




24. 1970 World Cup Final and a Boy and his Dog

Posted by quigs eraofthebiff - Saturday, May 05, 2012

YARN OF THE MONTH #24 ..... (original entry date) DATE GOES HERE.

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Get some more beers, or make another
coffee, take your time and have some fun.

Just a quick note here. This is where Quigs selects the best "Your Story" received for the month or a selection of a favorite older yarn - no correspondence will be entered into and the winner gets bugger all.
All yarns are unsubstantiated and are posted in good faith. Its just meant to be a fun thing, share some of our great memories from the Greatest Era of the Greatest Game of All.

1970 World Cup Final and a Boy and his Dog

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Story by

Club supported by author

Year of story

Date of Submission

 

John Christie, Leeds, England

Leeds

1970

24/07/2007

 

Hi to all Rugby League fans worldwide.

I would like to add to the 1970 England V Australia final story: I was just 14 at the time and at the game, here in Headingley, where I live. My dog 'Rusty' usually came to the Leeds home games with me.

This being such a massive game, I asked my mum, not to let him out of the house on that day, as he'd know where I was, and make his way to the ground to look for me.

But, she let him out, and sure enough, he travelled the half mile to the ground, where he duly ran past the stewards and straight onto the pitch! I nearly died, as the game was halted, and players, police officers and officials alike, tried to catch him, no chance!

The fans in the South Stand (where we were) knew him well and began to chant his name; 'Rusty' clap-clap-clap, 'Rusty' clap-clap-clap, and I remember thinking 'oh... my... God!'.

There must've been 25,000 people at that game but, I called his name at the top of my voice and incredibly, he heard me and ran straight over, vaulting the wall and up into the stand, to sit beside me!

I would love to know where I can get a copy of that game, of course, with that incident in it?

Can anyone help me?

I've spoken to lots of people over the years, who remember the incident well and still have a good laugh about it.

Rusty was a beautiful dog and a really great character, and although it's been 30 years ago this year that he disappeared without trace, I/we never stop thinking about him, wondering if whoever took him, loved and cared for him, as we all did?

Sorry if I've taken up your Rugby League reading time but, if you can help, with where I might obtain a copy of that famous game? I'd be very, very grateful.

Thank you all for your time,
John Christie,
Headingley, Leeds


23. Kevin Tamati in his Randwick (New Zealand) Rugby League Days

Posted by quigs eraofthebiff - Saturday, May 05, 2012

YARN OF THE MONTH #23 ..... (original entry date) 01/06/2007.

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Get some more beers, or make another
coffee, take your time and have some fun.

Just a quick note here. This is where Quigs selects the best "Your Story" received for the month or a selection of a favorite older yarn - no correspondence will be entered into and the winner gets bugger all.
All yarns are unsubstantiated and are posted in good faith. Its just meant to be a fun thing, share some of our great memories from the Greatest Era of the Greatest Game of All.

Great memories of Kevin Tamati in his Randwick (New Zealand) Rugby League Days

 

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Story by

Club supported by author

Year of story

Date of Submission

 

Pat Knox, Lower Hutt, New Zealand

Randwick Rugby League (Wellington)

1982

01/06/2007

(From Quigs - FOR THE UNINITIATED - This is Randwick RL in New Zealand, Not the union side in Sydney )

Its out of guilt I'm writing this as I was searching the web to find some pictures of any Randwick players for the 2007 Old Timers Booklet I'm putting together, and found this about KT.

Hi to Colin McKenzie, a previous writer on KT,"I've got my own rugby league radio show now mate! Not as good as in your days though, you are the benchmark!"

I was playing for randwick "Thirsty 3rd" senior 3rd team at the time and not for the first time, (Steve Kearney being the other) Kevin transferred from the Upper Hutt Tigers to play for Randwick for rumoured, "to be in a Premiership winning side!" Well of course, all those north of Stokes Valley hated his and our guts for that but we rode the storm. It was at a time when the Petone Panthers were the top side in Wellington, Upper Hutt hated our guts in the north, and here was Randwick stuck in the middle of them both. Eastern Suburbs (not Western as someone ahead of me has written) had taken on mass, a massive forward pack led by the Henry Brothers, Whetu and Whare and all their brothers who were like a pack of Jim Mills'in one team, from the Marist club.

So Wellington league was rocking. But the year 1982 was'nt going too well when Upper Hutt made the Grand Final against Petone and Randwick missed out.But somehow!!!!! Randwick and Petone represented Wellington in the brand new Wrangler Cup national knockout.

Just going back a few steps though and 'one of those moments'in a league mans life which keeps you in the game. My senior third team made the playoffs, and being the only office worker in the team wondered if KT would come over after premier training and show us one of these fancy defence plans he and John Whittaker spoke about. I asked the coach first if I could ask him, and looked sheepish (just a pun you Aussies!)when the team stopped training and Kevin said,"Okay, lets do it now!" Mate, he taught us this fancy defence called "umbrella defence" and not onlymay we may have been his first attempt at coaching, but some of Wellingtons reserve and senior first teams now, would'nt even know what it was!

Hell we felt like the Amco Cup!!

Well Petone and Randwick did the rest of the country proud in beating two Auckland clubs, Otahuhu and Glenora in the semi finals of the Wrangler Cup, a competition that those pesky Aucklanders had already booked Carlaw Park for the final!!! Ah ah! "A" is for Auckland and Australians!!!!Mate bring that game to the Petone Rec thank you!

But moment "two" happened after the final as we knew that Kevin was about to go to Widnes and become a big player, that a couple of us "Thirsty Thirds" wanted to get a photo with him after the game. We lost to a silly hole in our defence, 30 seconds from fulltime, and I expereinced what footy meant to a rising professional star like Kevin, meant in the changing rooms. I burst in, searched him out and asked if he would come out for a photo. As he said yes, he lifted his head, and I was horrified to see the man had been crying. I did'nt know how to say to him, we'll cancel the photo or to my mate that it was'nt the right thing to do. It was at that moment that it hit me, what rugby league was about at that level, and saw the determination and seriousness I also saw with John Whittaker and Sam Stewart, two of Randwicks best.This was the big step for these guys, from local amateur league, and off into the bigtime. KT stood with me and my mate for a photo which every now and then, in my messy garage, I come across and reminiess of what a great guy he was to become.

While everyone in your website talks of "that" hit in the 1st test in 1985 at Lang Park, maybe you should also look at the kickoff of the test match in 1982 when he maimed Rohan Hancock 24 seconds into the game with his shoulder!

Yes I have this radio show in Wellington and cover live club rugby league games in Taranaki, Manawatu and Wellington. But I also have the time to take in the other districts in the country to wind up the show, and perhaps another 'first' for all you fellow worshippers, happened two seasons ago when I forced him to become a commentator for the last 3 minutes of a provincial game between Taranaki and Hawkes Bay with his Bay side hot on attack! I grinned to think of all those times this hard hard man had played for and who he had tackled, and here he was, still doing his bit for rugby league.

Come on Colin McKenzie. I think KT deserves a book now, and a lot of the information in this web site would help fill it.

To coin an overused phrase..."Thank you Kevin Tamati for making the Aussies fear us, for being a colourful chapter in Kiwi rugby league folklore, and teaching the 1982 Wellington Senior 3rd Champions about umbrella defence!(Umbrella's at leaue matches? Yeah Right)


22.Humorous story involving Les Boyd and St Helens hooker Graham Liptrot

Posted by quigs eraofthebiff - Saturday, May 05, 2012

YARN OF THE MONTH #22 ..... (original entry date) 02/05/2007.

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Get some more beers, or make another
coffee, take your time and have some fun.

Just a quick note here. This is where Quigs selects the best "Your Story" received for the month or a selection of a favorite older yarn - no correspondence will be entered into and the winner gets bugger all.
All yarns are unsubstantiated and are posted in good faith. Its just meant to be a fun thing, share some of our great memories from the Greatest Era of the Greatest Game of All.

Humorous story involving Les Boyd and St Helens hooker Graham Liptrot

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Story by

Club supported by author

Year of story

Date of Submission

 

Paul Harrison, Warrington, England

--

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02/05/2007



Les Boyd. Having read all the stories of Les I couldn't add anything myself although I do recall most of those by others.

My story comes from a mate of mine who was playing against Warrington for St Helens. Many of you will remember Harry Pinner from his Saints days and he went on to play for Great Britain, Widnes and (he'll kill me for this one) Carlisle. He was also assistant coach to John Monie at wigan.

Well this is his story of Les Boyd. Don't know the date but it was a sunday afternoon at Knowsley Road, St Helens, and Les is driving the ball forward and is tackled by two saints players but refuses to go down and is trying to offload.

Saints hooker Graham Liptrot comes in third man and completes the tackle knocking Boyd to the ground on his back. Not content with that Lippy decides to let boyd have one, a forearm accross the nose that is.

Harry as saints captain quickly pulls Lippy off the tackle and begins to tell him what an idiot he is and how Boyd would kill him.

Lippy unconcerned tells Harry "don't worry I'm going off, I've just seen my number held up on the touch line". Harry looked over and sure enough the number 9 is held up and Lippy duly trots toward the touch.

As the trainer spots Lippy coming over he looks at the number held aloft and immediately turns it over to bring the five eigth (stand off) off.

Lippy somewhat pale by now returns to the fray, dreading the next scrum. The next scum comes and there's no way Lippy is getting in that front row with Boyd. He asks Harry to pack at hooker which he declined saying he was dreading going in at Lock (loose foward). No one else would swap so Lippy went in. I don't need to finish the story you can all guess what happened, but it involved a stretcher.

Harry asked me to put this on for him hope you enjoy it.

If you want to include Harry on your where are they now he runs a pub in Grappenhall Village, near Warrington called the Parr Arms.

From Quigs - great memories Paul - thank Harry for me.. he must have some more he'd love to share too.. cheers

 


21. Interview with Western Suburbs Living Legend Noel Ned Kelly - by Tony Lewis

Posted by quigs eraofthebiff - Saturday, May 05, 2012

YARN OF THE MONTH #21 ..... (original entry date) 1/4/2007.

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Get some more beers, or make another
coffee, take your time and have some fun.

Just a quick note here. This is where Quigs selects the best "Your Story" received for the month or a selection of a favorite older yarn - no correspondence will be entered into and the winner gets bugger all.
All yarns are unsubstantiated and are posted in good faith. Its just meant to be a fun thing, share some of our great memories from the Greatest Era of the Greatest Game of All.

 

Interview with Western Suburbs Living Legend Noel Ned Kelly

Name/website

From Tony Lewis off
Kelly's Kids
a tribute site to the Mighty Maggies during Noel Kellys years

Hometown

Springwood

Country

NSW Australia

Club followed

Western Suburbs Magpies.

Email(not compulsory)

 

Your URL

 

Interview with Noel Kelly,
Australia, Western Suburbs and North Sydney great and one of the Leagues genuine hardmen.


Visit Tony's website for a great read and memories of the Mighty Old Magpies. Click image above

 

 


NOEL 'Ned' KELLY

THE HARDMAN


It was my great honour to interview Noel Kelly at his home at Collaroy with my mate and fellow West's supporter Steve Lothian.

Steve came with me to video the interview.

To be truthful we were both a little nervous to be meeting Noel Kelly, our boyhood football hero.

Steve and I agree that Noel Kelly was the greatest player ever to wear the famous black and white football jumper.


Noel met us at the front door and showed us through to the back patio where we carried out the interview. Noel made us feel very welcome and our nerves soon disappeared.

Over the years that Kelly's Kids web site has been running, I have received many emails asking me questions about Noel and his time at West's so I asked him some of these questions to "break the ice" at the interview.

One such game was from "Magpie Mal." It concerned the game West's v Newtown in 1966 at the old Sydney Sports Ground.

Even as a kid, Mal has always wanted to know why West's played so well and won that game even though two of their players had been sent off. "Funny thing," said Noel "One of the players sent off was me and the other Alan Allison."

Noel remembered saying to Big Dennis Meaney as Noel trudged towards the dressing room " Get stuck into them and we can still win this…."

The final score was West's 16 Newtown 15.

Noel believes this was the game when Big Denis Meaney came of age as a player.

(left) Big Dennis Meaney with Ned
.

I asked Noel which was his favourite ground??

"Easy." said Noel. "The Sydney Cricket Ground followed by Pratten Park."

Noel was not a supporter of the move by West's from Pratten Park to Lidcombe Oval in 1967. "

Pratten was a real Home ground all the people from Ashfield would come along and support their team, West's".

Noel loved the way the crowds were so close at Pratten Park he said "a ground with a hill all round."

It was during this time that every dog or cat in Ashfield was names after Noel or Peter Dimond.

Speaking of Pratten Park (left: old Pratten Park Stand and Dressing Sheds) and Lidcombe Oval if you have a favourite ground between these two please email me ( link at bottom of page) and tell me which one and why. Maybe you have some old photos of these grounds please let me know.

I then asked Noel "Which West's player from the Kelly's Kids era was the best?"

Without thinking he said "John Elford".

Noel then told us about a game at the old Belmore Oval when "Snoozer" Elford scored a try against Canterbury -Bankstown.

Noel said Snoozer beat the whole Canterbury team using his famous running fend.

Snoozer of course was a huge tackler.
(see pic left)

Noel also had big wraps on Tony Ford and Mick Alchin.


Tony Ford (above) Mick Alchin (right)

I asked Noel about the referees of that time compared to now

"Before my move to West's in 1961 my old Brothers coach Dan Dempsey said that there were 2 referees in Sydney to watch out for one was a cheat the other never smiled."

"Col Pearce was the one who never smiled and I will let you work out the other one".

"Col Pearce was a wonderful referee and a wonderful man but he never smiled."

Noel thought that today's refs are coaching the players calling them by their first names telling the players when the ball is out of the scrum etc.

Noel you were sent off 11 times during your 9 seasons with West's. Did the Sydney refs have it in for you?

"Yes and no," Noel Replied" " Four send offs were for scrum breaches and 1 was for swearing at a touch judge.

I played the game hard, and I played for keeps".

" Retaliate first. That's what I told my young Magpies".

"This is a question from the past, Noel. Can you tell me what happened to Glen Brown?" "He was a very good second rower from Queensland. I think he joined the army"

Just for the record Glen played 3 first grade games in 1966 plus he played in a Combined Services match with Barry Bryant in 1966.

If anyone has any news on Glen please email me and I will be happy to add the info to this story.

"Noel did you have much to do with Jack Gibson?" Noels reply. "Well Jack played 2 years with West's 1963 and 1964. We were in the front row together for many games and we became good mates both on and off the field. He nickname for me was "Snoz" . Jack would always have a BBQ at his place or at Gunnamatta Park at Cronulla for all of the West's boys. To me Jack is a great bloke" Noel told Steve and I some funny stories about himself and Jack. Due to the fact that Ned and Gibbo are still with us they will remain in the Cone Of Silence. All I will say is "Jack did Ned ever pay for that boat??"

At the end of his Sydney career and at the age of 34, Noel told us he made the biggest mistake of his football career he signed to play captain-coach for Wollongong for the 1970 season. Noel told us of the first training session. " All the players turned up for the first nights training session and I asked the committee men for the training balls. They had none. The only ball they had was a cheap plastic one that could be bought from Coles. I should of quite then and there."

Just for the record Noel played 115 First Grade games for West's (1961-1969) and scored 6 tries. He played 6 games for Queensland (1959 - 1960) scoring 1 try. 5 games for New South Wales (1963-64 and 1966-1967) scoring 1 try.

25 Tests (1959-60, 1963-64 and 1966-1968) scoring 2 tries. Noel was the first hooker/prop forward to make three Kangaroo tours (1959,1963 and 1967)





In the last few years Noel has become a committee man of a charity call Men Of League. This charity has been set up to help old Rugby League players who need a helping hand. Noel gives of his time, as do many other Rugby League greats helping to raise money for old footballers who are not travelling so well. Men of League has a website and if you would like to become a supporter of the Men of League for $10 just click onto this website link to join. www.menofleague.com

For your one off payment of $10 you get personal ID keyring, bi monthly magazine (for old frontrowers this means one every 2 months) and a good feeling of helping an old footballer that once you cheered for.

Ned and Tony

Unfortunately it was time to go. The two hours had gone very quickly.

For Steve and I the interview is a memory that will live with as forever.


We had only scratched the surface of Noels life in those two hours.

For more detailed information about his life I can recommend a great book called "HARDMAN A Life in Football".

This book tells the full story warts and all from 1936 until 1996.

You can find it in most second-hand bookshops.

Buy it, read it, then you will know the real Noel "Ned" Kelly……a Hardman.

Steve and Ned

Thanks to Noels wife Chris for the coffee and biscuits and Ned thanks for giving us so much of your time but most of all thanks so much for the years you played for West's.

Steve and Ned


18. The Mighty Magpies held their Annual Reunion at Pratten Park 2006

Posted by quigs eraofthebiff - Saturday, May 05, 2012

YARN OF THE MONTH #18 ..... (original entry date) 01/09/2006.

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Get some more beers, or make another
coffee, take your time and have some fun.

Just a quick note here. This is where Quigs selects the best "Your Story" received for the month or a selection of a favorite older yarn - no correspondence will be entered into and the winner gets bugger all.
All yarns are unsubstantiated and are posted in good faith. Its just meant to be a fun thing, share some of our great memories from the Greatest Era of the Greatest Game of All.

 

>

On the 29th july 2006 The Mighty Magpies, the old Western Suburbs Warriors held their Annual Reunion at Pratten Park. Tony Lewis, of www.noelkellyskids.info was kind enough to send "The Biff" some great pics from the night. It looks like many a great old match was replayed during the reunion. No exaggerations, no untruths, just straight honest reminiscing..

Good on you Maggies... (thanks Tony) ... some of the Biff Hardmen and Heroes were in attendance and have links off their names.


Arthur Summons and Peter Dimond



Arthur Summons and Peter Dimond with a very notable trophy



Arthur and Magpie



Barry Bryant and his two sons Kurt and BJ


Barry Bryant and Ron Costello


Harry Wells (see Harry in action below 1954)


The story of the England - NSW brawl in 1954 was so big that it made the front page of all major Sunday papers. This is how the Sun Herald showed the notorious day. From left to right, H Wells (Wests) Aus, Touch Judge, D Greenall UK, Ref Oxford, Noel Pidding, J Henderson, A Burnell and Clive Churchill.

Read more in Memorable matches No 3 at the eraofthebiff.com


Ian Walsh and Noel Kelly


Ian Walsh and Noel Kelly - spinning yarns



John Baker, Don Parish and Doug Walkenden



Ken Stonestreet and Doug Walkenden


Laurie Bruyeres and Noel Kelly - still continuing the yarn from yesteryear?


-

 


Noel Dolton


Peter Dimond



Phil Franks and Barry Glasgow



Singing Old Magpie Song.



Tony Ford


19. Q & As with Vince Karalius in 2006 - Total RL Forum event.

Posted by quigs eraofthebiff - Saturday, May 05, 2012

YARN OF THE MONTH #19 ..... (original entry date) 2/10/2006.

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Get some more beers, or make another
coffee, take your time and have some fun.

Just a quick note here. This is where Quigs selects the best "Your Story" received for the month or a selection of a favorite older yarn - no correspondence will be entered into and the winner gets bugger all.
All yarns are unsubstantiated and are posted in good faith. Its just meant to be a fun thing, share some of our great memories from the Greatest Era of the Greatest Game of All.

 

The Era of the Biff heard about the Questions and Answers event happening on the TotalRL Fans Forum which was held on the 22nd September 2006. EOTB was kindly permitted by Total RL to reproduce the segment and it is very much appreciated. Thanks to John Drake and friends.

The Biff website is all about recording memories and stories about the greatest game from the greatest era and from both sides of the equator.

It is brilliant to hear that Vince is still alive and well and enjoying life. From his answers to the punters questions it is obvious he enjoyed his time as one of the worlds greatest league players. (and a bloody tough pommy too)

Thanks firstly to Vince Karalius, Total RL and to the members who put the Questions to VK.

Team Era strongly recommends that you pay a visit or three to TotalRL Fans Forum and Total RL along with Era of the Biff would like you to support xiii Heroes website... read more on top right of this page.

Questions from the Guest Room TotalRL


Member upununder
Ques: Runcorn Bridge There are various stories about you diving or jumping off Runcorn Bridge into the Mersey. What is the truth?

Reply by Vince Karalius
Three of us, my two mates Alan Winstanley (Winno), Gordon Carney and myself were going to dive off the bridge into the Mersey but the tide was out so we decided to dive into the Manchester ship canal. It ran along side the river. We had a look, thought it was a bit high so we told Gordon, seeing he was the smallest, that Winno and I would jump first and if it was alright we would come back and dive off. Winno had the job of looking after the clothes, we jumped and both hurt ourselves so the dive was off.

Believe it or not some time later Winno went back and dove off, but that’s another story. He tells me he wakes up having nightmares, he thinks he is going off again. (Now there is a nutter for you).


Member dallymessenger
Ques: Test Matches -

Reply by Vince Karalius
In Test matches against the Aussies, I always enjoyed having to ‘take care’ of the likes of Provan and O’Shea.

The second test at Brisbane in 1958 was my debut. Being part of that side on that day is something I’ll always remember. To play alongside a real hard man like Alan Prescott was a privilege. I felt ten feet tall being on the same side as him. It’s simply unbelievable to think that he played with a broken arm and led us to victory.


Member Billy Bunter
Ques: Saints Then And Now - Mr Karalius,

How do you feel about comparisons being made between the current St Helens side and the great sides you played in during the late 50s and early 60s?

Would you have any of the current mob in your old teams?

Thanks

Reply by Vince Karalius
It’s impossible to compare the different eras, simply because we were part time. With the same training regimes, I think the players from my day would be more than a match for their modern counterparts.

The big difference is that back then we had players who could go out and beat the Aussies, that doesn’t happen today.


Member upununder
Ques: What Was Your Greatest Moment? - Everyone has one or more standout moments in their lives and careers. With a record like yours, it would perhaps be hard for an observer to pick out one thing from such an illustrious career. I was priviledged to see you play when I first started watching rugby league and would love to know what you feel is/was your greatest moment.

Reply by Vince Karalius
I was very fortunate and had lots of great moments, captaining different challenge cup winning sides, coaching Challenge cup winning teams, being picked for tour, winning the ashes, and winning the World cup.

But on reflection I think the greatest moment was being picked for the first team at St Helens for the first time. That meant that they had faith in my ability, the rest was up to me.


Member Stag Fan
Ques: Winter Or Summer Rugby Which do you prefer? and why.

Reply by Vince Karalius
My preference is winter, why? Because it’s a winter game, exerting yourself for 80 minutes is much easier in cooler weather, than in the baking heat. I see that rugby union and soccer have not followed our lead, enough said!


Member name
Ques: text

Reply by Vince Karalius
text


Member voteronniegibbs
Ques: Change The Scoreline?, if you had chance Of all the games you played in over your career is there one scoreline that you would change, if you could play the match again?

Reply by Vince Karalius
One doesn’t spring to mind, any defeat was hard to swallow, and you always thought you had been robbed!


Member Southern Softie
Ques: Toughest Opponent Hello Vince.

Having a bit of a reputation for being a hard man ( see my signature ) , who would you say was the toughest opponent you have played against?

Cheers.


Reply by Vince Karalius
This is a hard one to answer, they were all tough, but my top ten would have to include Bill Healey, Dia Moses, Brian McTigue, Derek Turner, Jack Wilkinson, the Drake Brothers, the Martin Brothers and Charlie Winslade.


Member Marauder
Ques: Rule Changes And Coaching With todays coaching methods and all the rule changes in todays game how do you think your team mates at club and country would compare with todays players given the chance to have been full time professionals.

Reply by Vince Karalius
It’s always hard to try and evaluate yesteryear’s greats with todays, but let me do some comparisons:

Are they more skilful? – Never.

Are they harder? – Never.

Are they fitter? – Yes because they are full time pros.

So I would say that we would compare very favourably.


Member LittleJon
Ques: Current Lions Mental Attitude I'm convinced that the current crop of Lions have the rugby ability to beat Australia but there seems to be a lack of confidence and the "mental edge". From your experience what changes could be made for the current side to regain the Ashes?

Reply by Vince Karalius
You have to pick the right team, make sure you don’t pick anyone that hangs his heart up with his shirt.

Instil in them a sense of pride that they are playing for there country. Get them to believe in their own footballing ability. To play as a team.

Yes I think we would win.


Member PC
Ques: Nickname I'm sure a read somewhere that you weren't a fan of your nickname. If not, why not? It's better than mine.

Reply by Vince Karalius
The Wild Bull Of The Pampas? Well I did not think I was wild, I feel I was a little more calculated than that.


Member Derwent
Ques: Tom Mitchell..... Personally I think the game today is crying out for someone like the great man (though of course they broke the mould when they made him !).

What do you think Tom would have made of today's game and was he the best "man manager" you ever met ? I know Brian Edgar, Billy Ivison, Ike Southward etc all reckoned that Tom was the biggest influence on their career - I know you and him were great friends and wondered if he had a big influence on you ?


Reply by Vince Karalius
As you say, Thomas was a great man and a very dear friend. He possessed great man management skills and had an influence on most people he met, including me.

I think Thomas like myself would say the game is too predictable.

He left a gap in our game that has never been filled. He was a great character and I was privileged to tour with him in 1958.


Member Upununder
Ques: Hall Of Fame Who, out of today's players, do you think is a potential Hall of Famer?

Reply by Vince Karalius
As I said in a previous answer I don’t watch many games so I am not really the best judge, but of two players in my old position as loose forward, Andy Farrell could have been, and Paul Sculthorpe must be in the running.


Member marklaspalmas
Ques: Post Office Road, Featherstone Do you have any memories of matches played against Featherstone Rovers? Which of their players did you most have to look out for?

Reply by Vince Karalius
You had to look out for them all; they were all over you like a rash. I remember playing there in a cup-tie, it was freezing and snowing and we got beat. Happy memories!


Member CrushersForever
Ques: Taking Up Coaching Vince, did you give much thought to eventually moving into coaching during your playing career? And did you find any aspects of the transition to coaching particularly difficult?

Reply by Vince Karalius
The thought never crossed my mind; the offer from Widnes came out of the blue the only aspect I found difficult was being the boss instead of one of the lads.


Member Bullseye
Ques: Championship Final 1959 Do you remember the 1959 championship final between Hunslet and St Helens at Odsal? It was Jim Sullivan's last game in charge as coach I think. A colleague of mine was at the game and is a Hunslet fan, do you remember much about the game?

Reply by Vince Karalius
I can hardly remember what happened last week, but it does come vaguely back.

It was a terrific game played in a lovely atmosphere, with a huge crowed and best of all we won (I think!), and of course this was the perfect farewell to Sull who was my mentor and had a great influence on me.


Member Homer
Ques: Saints - Wigan Rivalry, Is it as intense as it was??? With the number of times that the teams seem to play each other these days, do you think that some of the intensity has gone out of the inter-town rivalry?

Reply by Vince Karalius
I think the rivalry is still there and always will be, but it is a bit like having your favourite meal too often, it loses its appeal.

In my era it was played at the festive sessions of Christmas and Easter, packed houses, wonderful atmosphere, it was war.


Member tim2
Ques: Youth Years How old were you when you started playing and where did you start?

Did you play during the Second World War? Did the war have any effect on rugby league in Widnes?


Reply by Vince Karalius
I started in amateur rugby league at the age of 15 with a local Widnes team called West Bank, I commenced my professional career at the age of 17 with St Helens.

No I didn’t play in the Second World War, I was 7 years old and the only thing I can remember playing with was my gas mask. But after the war the game thrived.


Member Bullseye
Ques: Play Down Under? A lot of successful GB players were offered the chance to play for Australian clubs sides. Did you get any offers from Aussie teams? If so why did you turn them down?

Reply by Vince Karalius
I was approached surreptitiously after the last Test match in Sydney, I declined the offer, and I was a home bird.


Member Saint Toppy
Ques: Hard Men, The Current Breed ? You were widely regarded as being one of the real ‘hard men’ of rugby league. Do you think any of the current breed of players (either here or in the NRL) would be worthy of that title ?

Reply by Vince Karalius
I can’t really say, I don’t watch many games but I read that Mr Morley is quite intimidating.


Member Ed I Tackle
Ques: Regrets What do you regret doing during your career and what do you regret not doing.

Reply by Vince Karalius
I regret being talked into playing when I was unfit, I regret not having the time to train harder which would have made me a better player.


Member Marauder
Ques: Union`s ££££`s Vince would you have been tempted to go to Rugby Union for a few quid more

Reply by Vince Karalius
I was never asked! But I don’t think so, rugby league was in my blood.


17. Arthur "Mad Fletch" Fletcher An Airlie Bird Legend.

Posted by quigs eraofthebiff - Saturday, May 05, 2012

YARN OF THE MONTH #17 ..... (original entry date) 01/08/2006.

RETURN TO PREVIOUS PAGE..


Get some more beers, or make another
coffee, take your time and have some fun.

Just a quick note here. This is where Quigs selects the best "Your Story" received for the month or a selection of a favorite older yarn - no correspondence will be entered into and the winner gets bugger all.
All yarns are unsubstantiated and are posted in good faith. Its just meant to be a fun thing, share some of our great memories from the Greatest Era of the Greatest Game of All.

 

Yarn from
Mary Fletcher - wife of the Late Arthur Fletcher. "Mad Fletch" was a fanatical Hull FC Supporter, if not the most fanatical supporter of all time... from all clubs. At my request Mary sent over some newspaper clippings about Fletch, and his antics -

Submitted 01/08/2006

Arthur "Mad Fletch" Fletcher
An Airlie Bird Legend.

Mary emailed the Biff back in late April with the following message - "My late husband Big Fletch was a diehard black and white.He wouldnt eat bacon.smoke park drive or even let us have a coloured tv because of the colour red [the robins] His wishes for when he died was for his ashes to be scattered on the sacred turf [The boulevard] so that is were he has laid for the last 20years. I am sure many many people have great memories of him because he was such a character and is still missed greatly in Hull"

AND NOW THE GOOD NOOSE... retyped for ease of reading

HULL FC fanatic Arthur Fletcher has a big rugby league hang-up.

He kept regulars at the Sandringham Arms in suspense when he announced he would rather hang the see his team defeated.

But one condition was that the rope is black and white - his team's colours.

Landlord Steve Edwards, a life-long Hull Kingston Rovers supporter, duly obliged, with a black and white noose specially for Airlie Birds' supporters.

Arthur, will not buy a colour TV in case there is any red and white on show and refuses to smoke cigarettes from a red and white packet.

 

HANG ON, IT'S MAD FLETCH... retyped for ease of reading

At the Sandringham pub in Paragon Street, landlord Steve Edwards can boast the most fanatical Hull FC supporter in the city.Arthur Fletcher (58) known to his mates as "Mad Fletch" has tried to cut the colour of red out of his life entirely.

He refuses to have anything to do with the colour red. He refuses to smoke cigarettes that come in a red packet, will never buy any clothing that is red, and can count the number of Rugby League finals he has missed on the fingers of one hand.

This week he joked that he will hang himself if the Airlee Birds lose, in a special black and white noose put up in the bar by the Sandringham's landlord. Fletch went to his first Rugby League Cup Final in 1935.

But it is rumoured that he has a skeleton in te cupboard ... his grandfather "Froggie" Fletcher once played full-back for the Rovers!

PLAIN AS BLACK AND WHITE... some quotes retyped for ease of reading

"On Sunday the man who named his black and white cat Sully after Hull RFC's famous wigner Clive Sullivan, only to sell it when the player defected to Hull Kingston Rovers, ....."

"Fletch - real name Arthur Fletcher - admits to being on 59, having spent 49 of those years following the black and whites around the country"

"He's so fanatical that he wont have anything red and white in the house because Hull Kingston Rovers play in red and white. He will not allow his wife or children to buy anything red .....

"Even bacon is not allowed because it is reand white"

ALL HULL BREAKS LOOSE OVER THE HAIR RAISING FINAL.. some quotes retyped for ease of reading
from NOW- dated May2, 1980

"One of the stars involved is Clive Sullivan. He was a Hull star and Arthur Fletcher, a lifetime Hull supporter who drinks under the black noose in the Sandringham House, named his black and white cat after him. Then Sullivan transferred across the city and became a Rovers star. Mr Fletcher, local folklore now insists, was so outraged by this treachery that he had his cat put down. He says what actually happend is that he actually moved house and the cat preferred to stay put, although he admits he went off the animal in such a big way that "perhaps the cat got the message"

John Bird - WHEN WILL HULL'S WALL COME DOWN?... retyped for ease of reading

"I wonder when the 'wall' in Hull will come down, if ever!

You know, the imaginary but nevertheless unscalable wall that exist between East and West right here. It baffles me as to how it got there, surely it isn't all down to Robins and Airlie Bird's rivalry.

Although I don't know. I once covered a story about a West Hull chap called Fletch who was so fanatical over the Airlie Birds the he would not entertain anything that may have the remotest hint of red and white in it.

For example he did not own a colour TV, in case he saw red! He never ate bacon because it was red and white and he would never dream of smoking Park Drive because of the colour of the Pack.

Sadly Fletch is gone now but his fanaticism was in my opinion the lovable and acceptable face of Hull's east/west divide. ......

R.I.P. Fletch

8/8/06 Comment from Airliebird Downunder

Eyup Quigs!

Love the story about this nutter!

A lot of the sentiments in those reports ring very very true. My Granddad was quite similar in a lot of his thoughts. My Grandmother and her sister (great aunt I think that makes her) used to be Hull FC's Laundry girls in the 40's and 50's and in fact shared the house right next to the old Boulevard ground when both of their husbands were in North Africa fighting Rommell.

They actually used to use the dressing rooms as bomb shelters in those days as Hull was the most bombed city in all of the UK.

After one raid they came up out of the shelter and discovered their house had been totally obliterated by a direct hit. The club let them sleep in the dressing rooms until they could get somewhere better to live.

The old girls actually used to have scarves and hats from every other team on the league and if Hull were every without a game or playing too far away to travel, they used to go across the city to support whoever Hull KR were playing!

Thats Hatred!

9/8/06 - Comment from JB Downunder off RLFans Forum

Strangely this kind of character wasn't uncommon in Hull during the late 70's and early 80's! I met a fair few in my time including a butcher and his wife who stopped talking to each other for two weeks leading up to the 80 CC final!


14. The 1986 Kangaroos Demolition Derby - Kangaroos disposing of Used Vehicles

Posted by Jeff Quigley - Saturday, May 05, 2012

YARN OF THE MONTH #14 ..... (original entry date) 01/05/2006.

RETURN TO PREVIOUS PAGE..


Get some more beers, or make another
coffee, take your time and have some fun.

Just a quick note here. This is where Quigs selects the best "Your Story" received for the month or a selection of a favorite older yarn - no correspondence will be entered into and the winner gets bugger all.
All yarns are unsubstantiated and are posted in good faith. Its just meant to be a fun thing, share some of our great memories from the Greatest Era of the Greatest Game of All.

 

An old tradition from the Kangaroo Trips of the 80's.....

The 1986 Kangaroos Demolition Derby

Many of the Kangaroo Touring party would chip in and buy old bomb cars to use as
a means of transport during the long tours.

The novel way of disposing them was usually a demolition derby in the hotel carpark
at the end of the tour to Great Britain.

OH WHAT A FEELING! There were four second hand cars purchased by several of the Kangaroos (1986) The sixteen or so players had outlayed $100.00 each for their piece of the action. There was a 1960 Saab, christened the "Turbo" by its owners. In contrast there was a 1967 Fiat Stationwagon which beared an uncanny resemblance to a hearse and was nicknamed accordingly. Unbeknown to its new owners the "Hearse" did not have the appropriate government duties paid to qualify its legal status. This resulted in a surprise visit one night from the local constabulary, where after initial confusion the owners breathed a big sigh of relief as the matter was resolved without any disciplinary action being taken.

courtesy of Brett Cochranes great book Mud, Sweat and Cheers.

The 1982 Kangaroo version

Rod Reddy discussing how he, Steve Rogers and Craig Young disposed of their car on the last day of the 1982 tour. - From Tony Adams Book, The Hitmen.

Many Kangaroo players have bought old cars on tour, and Reddy, Steve Rogers and Craig Young had a bomb on their hands in 1982. At the end of the tour, they had to decide what to do with the vehicle.

"The car had just about had it. It was in such a state the hotel management wouldn't let us park out the front of the hotel. We had to leave it out the back as they reckoned it gave the place a bad name. The day before we left we tipped it into the canal behind the hotel. As it started to go down, the water pressure must have forced the brake pedal down because the back lights came on. As it started sailing down the canal, and as we ran off, we yelled out: There's someone drowning in that car."

I think (Australian Prop) Donny Mckinnon got the blame for that one.


Royce Simmons hams it up amongst the carnage

The pics appearing are courtesy of Brett Cochrane aka Basquali, from the Book Mud Sweat and Cheers.
The 1986 Australian Rugby League Tour of Great Britain and France

King Wally Lewis, with approved head protection
ready to start the rumble

Target confirmed

Point of impact.

Wally and Chris Mortimer celebrate the successfull demolition

Champions

head of the pit crew Gene Miles servicing the motor.

 

Email from Andrew Sutton, Wakefield, England

Re Wally Lewis.

I had to smile when I saw the pictures on the site of Wally in the old wreck of a Saab, on the last day of the 86 tour.

The boys, I gather, had a bit of a demolition derby at the back of what was then called the Dragonara Hotel in Leeds.

My mate who was a young copper in Leeds at the time, got a call on the radio to attend an 'accident' at the rear of the Dragonara Hotel. He arrived to find the Saab in a wreck with (he swears) the engine still running, but with no sign of Messrs Lewis, Simmons and Roach, who I gather had paid a couple of hunderd quid for the car at the start of the tour.

He also tells the tale of stopping a car full of Green and Gold track suits on a main road in Leeds City centre. The car was a wreck. He had the guys out and was pointing out the defects when one of the Green and Golds says " Jeeze mate, if it's that bad we don't want it and they all buggered off up the road and left the car.

The first tale about the Saab I know is absolutely true but can any of the guys on the tour confirm the second story?

All the best Quigs, being an old fart of fifty I can remember many of the players listed.



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